Diseases of the Ascending Colon

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    Colonic polyps

    • Polyps are extra tissue masses that can grow throughout your body, or in this case, in your ascending colon. According to MedlinePlus.com, colonic polyps may begin as colon cancer or later develop into it. Generally, they are removed to prevent them from developing into cancer. They are also tested to make sure that they aren't already cancerous. People generally don't have any symptoms from colonic polyps therefore it is important to get colonoscopies to maintain your health. People older than 50 or who have had polyps previously have a higher chance of getting them. People with a family history of polyps or colon cancer are more likely to have colonic polyps as well. (See Reference 1)

    Ulcerative Colitis

    • Ulcerative colitis, or ulcerative proctitis, causes ulcers in the colon's protective lining, according to MedlinePlus.com. The ulcers are caused by chronic inflammation, which brings ulcerative colitis under the umbrella term inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms typically begin in people between the ages of 15 and 30. They include abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, anemia, severe tiredness, weight loss, loss of appetite, bleeding from the rectum, sores on the skin and joint pain. Prescribed medications can help control the symptoms. (See Reference 2)

    Diverticulitis

    • According to MedlinePlus.com, diverticulitis is the condition of having infected diverticula (random small pouches in the colon) which become inflamed. Fever, nausea, vomiting, chills, cramping, constipation, bleeding tears or blockages are symptoms of diverticulitis. Antibiotics are used to cure the infection; however, the diverticula still remain and may become inflamed again. The development of diverticula may be prevented by a high fiber diet. That being said though, according to MedlinePlus.com, approximately 50 percent of those over age 60 have some diverticula. (See Reference 3)

    Irritable bowel syndrome

    • Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, is mainly a harmless, but aggravating disease of the ascending colon, as well as the rest of the colon. It does not cause damage to the colon, but it can alter your life condition. According to MedlinePlus.com, symptoms include abdominal cramping, bloating, sometimes constipation and sometimes diarrhea. Some of the symptoms of IBS can be controlled by the regulation of your diet and stress levels. (See Reference 4)

    Colon Cancer

    • Colon cancer, or colorectal cancer, is the fourth most prevalent cancer in the United States. Your risk for it increases with age and with family history. Also, if you have any of the previously discussed diseases of the ascending colon, your risk increases. Symptoms are similar to other colon diseases and include abdominal discomfort, bloody stools and bowel habit changes. Treatment includes chemotherapy options, removal of the cancerous cells and radiation. (See Reference 5)

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